EMERGENCY SERVICES SECTOR REFORM UPDATE
On Monday 13th October 2014 Minister Tony Piccolo convened the 3rd Rountable as part of the Emergency Sevices Sector Reform. The Roundtable was attended by representatives from each of the emergency services, associations and unions nominated within the discussion paper as well as represenetatives from SAAS, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, SA Water, LGA, BOM, Volunteer Marine Rescue, Agriculture, Treasury, Premier and Cabinet, Attorney General, as well as the Minister for Local Government Geoff Brock and Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Duncan McFetridge.
As part of the presentation the Minister unveiled a “possible” sector model (attached) which represented the Minister’s thoughts as to how the sector may be structured in the future. The CFSVA is disappointed in the model and questioned the timing of the unveiling of this “possible” sector model given that submissions on the Discussion Paper – A Safer Community remains open under the 24th October 2014, with the CFSVA in the process of preparing its response.
The CFSVA indicated to the Minister that following extensive consultation, CFS volunteers have indicated that they will not accept a “one fire service model”, and are of the opinion that the Minister’s “possible” model was just one step away from achieving a one fire service, and therefore was not acceptable. The CFSVA made it clear that CFS volunteers must be the master of their future and would be responding to the Discussion paper by the due date.
If you look closely at the Minister’s “possible” model you will note that all that will be left of CFS is a badge on uniforms and emblems on the side of trucks, a position which the CFSVA believes is not acceptable.
During the roundtable the CFSVA played an excellent video produced by Felicty Hopkinson which provides an overview of last fire season and serves as a reminder of the enormous task undertaken by CFS volunteers and the co-operation and support that currently exists between the CFS, SES, MFS and our interstate collegues. The video can be accessed either through the CFSVA website, the volunteer portal or through the following youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjsvjYG8uOM
On Monday night the CFSVA hosted a combined state RVMC and CFSVA Management Committee meeting to discuss and confirm the CFSVA’s position on the sector reform. During the meeting it was agreed that the CFSVA would move forward with a model that separated the volunteer (CFS) sector from the paid (MFS) sector and encapsulates the views expressed by CFS volunteers through their CFSVA Branch Presidents, Management Committee and RVMCs.
The CFSVA has worked through an extensive consultation process over the last 4 months both with the Minister and subsequently directly with CFS volunteers and representatives groups and is now in the process of responding to the Discussion Paper.
CFS volunteers may also respond directly to the Minsiter. It is important that you play a role in determining the future of the emergency services in South Australia – as you, a CFS volunteer, play important and integral role in South Australia’s Emergency Services.
For further information or to comment:
Sonia St Alban
Country Fire Service Volunteers Association
Phone: 0408 133 349